Am I alone in thinking that the thousands of people on Bournemouth beach, of which at least 25% appeared to be children, might perhaps have been missing the point? Am I going mad when the real news tells me that a very decent primary school headmistress is suspended, because she declared in public that not all her staff were perhaps giving their all – supported by Union insouciance? What on earth makes anyone believe that this state-supported three month holiday is either a good thing, is free-of-charge and never-ending? I am truly bewildered by the government-wrought confusion and the dangerous and growing malaise that Piers Plowman is owed a living, for going to a beach. Enough bending the knee – time to bend the back.
I was equally bamboozled by the amazing escape we had from Ascot, where we ended up making a totally legitimate profit of 4.35 points (whatever your point size maybe). We had nine winners, 11 paying places and we have effectively a free win bet on Frankly Darling and Passion in The Oaks next weekend. If you go to Downloads, you can click on the P&L report for all our bets. My tiny victory was primarily down to my old friend Henry Ponsonby and his Scarlet Dragon, (that isn’t a salacious anatomical reference), and our finding some form towards the end of the week.
Overall I thought Royal Ascot worked well. Sadly I also sense that HM’s éminence grises will have an uphill struggle to meet previous years’ Royal Enclosure numbers. The constant rise of badge costs, the lowering of social standards, the sheer fun many people had this year, holding “bio-secure” Ascot lawn parties at home. Of course, we’ll all go back – but a five-day badge? No way. I’ll go to see my friends for one day, perhaps lunch at Lambourn on another, hold one party myself, take a day off and then perhaps Newmarket or the Cotswolds on another. Total cost including catering for 20 and decent Rose, £750? Two badges to Ascot for three days is the same price including car-parking and lunch. 40% more fun for free – no brainer in the coming stricken times.
Meanwhile today we race at Newcastle and Newmarket. In the 2:40 at Newmarket, I have it down to three: ON THE WARPATH – TURJOMAAN – VALE OF KENT. I favour TURJOMAN as offering the best e/w value and I think VALE OF KENT can win this having seen him battle into fourth under 9st 9lbs only 5½l adrift having forced the pace early on, and giving the winner half a stone.
In the Northumberland Plate at 3:35 Newcastle, there is a wonderful riddle. What’s been seventh in the Derby, fifth in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, been trained by John Gosden and been fourth in a Listed race just two weeks ago? That would be Tim Easterby’s GLENCADAM GLORY who also has the benefit of a win on Tapeta. 40/1 is 20 points too big. Best e/w shout of the day…. if he’s on song. I’d happily take 22/1 and 7 places from Bet365. I also fancy CARWENNAN – SMART CHAMPION – RESHOUN, the latter coming from Ian Williams who understands, as we have discussed before how to target a horse at big handicaps. He meets a number of trends and joins my other long shot.
GLENCADAM GLORY – RESHOUN both e/w. Add CARWENNAN and SMART CHAMPION to create 4 x ½pt rfc. Do all four with AUSTRALIS for a ¼pt tricast. I’m feeling lucky!
Over at The O’Brien Curragh, The O’Brien Irish Derby will be taking place. It will be won by an O’Brien.
The 4:45 will be won by SIR DRAGONET; the 5:45 by BOWERMAN who is trained by someone not called O’Brien. I am therefore probably wrong on this, but that’s what the form and the market says. Joseph could win it with RAISE YOU, but shouldn’t. The Derby should go to SANTIAGO, but I’d love the Futurity 6th (behind Kameko – who leading handicapper The Tesler doesn’t think will win The Derby), KING OF THE THRONE to snatch a place. Probable e/w value actually lies with ARTHUR’S KINGDOM who caught the eye behind Pyledriver at Royal Ascot.